This list of locations, activities, and other resources
is for the driver who wants to take his/her equine(s)
on the road or trail for fun.
Updated July 9, 2010; established 1995
It is based on recommendations and word-of-mouth. Please support it with your suggestions for inclusion, and please do send your comments about favorite places, as well as notes about problem trails.
Help prevent accidents by reading and sharing the information
in these articles about driving safety. Although they
were written with the Amish in mind, they are applicable
to all drivers.
Driving Safely in Amish Country This site also contains forms of the information that was previously available from Ohio State University and DOT sources. It includes information for drivers of both automobiles and horse-drawn vehicles.
This link may be useful for anyone researching legal or safety issues
related to recreational driving, for setting up locations or events, etc.
It is a sort of news clipping collection. It was previously kept at utopia.utexas.edu/explore/equine/, parts of which can still be found by entering the URL at www.archive.org, but the entire set can now be found in the archives of The University of Vermont:
Equine Law and Horsemanship Safety
This RingSurf Carriage Driving WebRing
owned by Recreational Driving Resources.
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As Submitted By Our Site Visitors
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Spenceville Recreation and Wildlife Area, Central CA. Riding only on trails of 11,000 acres administrated by Fish and Game. Over 25 miles of dirt public roads may be driven outside the fence. Also 25 miles of steeper dirt roads through adjoining properties (beware of cattle guards).
CVHA sometimes has organized drives, including in areas not generally accessible to the public; please check their site for details.COLORADO
The Goethe Trail, Inc.
Over 100 miles of trailsin N. Central FL, most suitable for carriages.
Welaka State Forest, 20 mi south of Palaka, FL. On the St. John's River -- air conditioned apartments with hot showers and bunk beds, 72 horse stalls wide trails.
Lake Panasoffkee Project (SWFWMD). 10,000 acres on the lake shores, 8 stalls available free on a first come first serve basis. Camping by permit (free ) 1-800-423-1476. Water, but no electric hookup. Toilets, picnic pavilion. Approx. 30 miles of loop trails; NEED gate combination from SWFWMD to get a carriage onto the trail. The trailhead is only 4 miles west of I-75 at the Wildwood Inverness exit in central Florida. Parking is abundant for even the largest rigs, and the parking area has good shade.
San Felasco State Preserve, 6500 acres, some trails are steep but can be driven.
O'leno State park with 30 miles of driving trails, camping, barn with 20 stalls and showers.
Also see the Florida Horse Pages
Conyers -- Olympic Horse Park
John Wayne Pioneer Trail, please see both WA and ID for links to this long trail.ILLINOIS
Acadia National Park
Driver comment - excellent hilly scenic driving roads with much interesting stonework (bridges etc) & wonderful views from hill tops. Stables offer horse boarding.
Fair Hill Natural Resource Area located on former estate of Wm duPont. It was once the driving haven of Mrs duPont's Liseter Hall Ponies and home of Foxcatcher Hounds. Over 5,000 acres of the original estate was purchased by the state of Maryland as open space land and is now under the direction of Parks and Recreation. It is still a marvelous place for carriages and horses tho now sharing the grounds with hikers, mountain bikers, joggers, and others. Overnight stabling and camping hook-ups available. $2 User Fee per day (Sr citizens and handicap passes available free). It is also the home of Fair Hill International held there in late October. Fair Hill International Three Day and Combined FHDNR Office 410-398-1246
For more information on Fair Hill and other MD parks (several others allow horses) Home Page: Maryland Department of Natural Resourcest
Michigan Shore-to-Shore Trail
Most of NH north of Concord. Lots of dirt roads in the country.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY...phone 800 772 6646
2 hours north of NYC and 2 hours south of Albany, NY on top of the Swangunk Mountains. Approx 45 miles of improved driving roads. Dinning and overnight accommodations at the Mountain House. Turn of the century stable for your horse. Museum, swimming, tennis, golf, fishing et. al.
Driver comment 1: The trails are to die for - magnificent views from stone dust roads/trails that traverse a wonderful forest preserve. Very civilized and quite beautiful. This is the place that the Carriage Association of America has had their annual meeting and pleasure drive.Driver comment 2: miles of excellent well maintained carriage roads through woods and fields. Can board horses in stable & stay in town or at the hotel (expensive) State park close to the above. Also has miles of carriage roads and terrific views. Roads are rougher than at Mohonk. Probably not recomended for beginning drivers or horses. Many mountain bikers who were polite when we were there.
Brookfield horse trail system, 20 miles south of Utica NY has 130 mile marked trails, many good for driving. There are seasonal dirt roads that wind their way through this area. Some are quite hilly, so you do want to have your horse in good shape.
Otter Creek, one of the nicest state horse camps you could imagine. There are many miles of sandy trails wide enough to drive. Both areas offer standing covered stalls, water, campsites with tables and fire pits, maps of the extremely well marked trails, and manure pits. They are free of charge, and on a first come, first serve basis.
Ride New York written by Anne O'Dell , a pretty nice book about trails in NY and a nice resource for anyone interested in riding/driving in NYS
Hello Driving and Carriage Enthusiasts:
Perhaps some of you would enjoy coming to our sleigh rally this year. We always have some Standardbreds here! Here is our new website with all the details. Thanks so much.
CCHA Sleigh Rally
Blowing Rock Very good trails at no charge
FENCE, Tryon, NC
Malabar Farm State Park
Near Danville, in NE Knox County, is the Bridge of Dreams, a long covered bridge with rubber-matted floors. Drivers and riders may enjoy a spectacular view. The trail is also used by the Amish to bypass regular highway traffic. The bridge is part of the Mohican Valley Trail. This trail connects Knox County to Holmes County for a long driving trail.
Knox County Horse Park is a fledgling facility for use by members only, but the membership fee covers use of all the facilities. Members may use the outdoor arena, primitive camp/picnic area (bring water for yourself and horses!), and trail. The trail is currently more suited for riding, but there is ample room to drive in the clearings. No Dogs Allowed.
Licking County Park District Trails including:
Infirmary Mound Park, Licking County just south of Granville and east of Columbus
Lobdell Reserve, Licking Co., just outside of Alexandria ***also allows mountain biking
Taft Reserve near Jacksontown ***also allows hunting; closed during gun season
Deer Creek State Park and other resources
Pickaway County near Circleville and south of Columbus - one loop is driveable
If you come to NW Ohio Independence Dam State Park close to Defiance, Ohio allows carriages on the road in the park. They don't allow riding horses but welcome carriage drivers. This road has a canal on one side and the Maumee River on the other. You can't beat the scenery. (Thanks, A. Hohenbrink)
Also see Ohio Rails and Trails for additional resources on rail trails. Not all are driving-friendly.
Manchester State Park---near Sumter
Hitchcock Woods--- Aiken SC. Footing can be sandy
Ashville ---The Biltmore Estate. A fee is charged for using the trails
Camden Hounds Hunt - Camden, SC
The Woods, Aiken SC
Issaqueena Road, Pendleton, SC
(Thanks to R. Gimenez)
East Fork Stables in Jamestown, Tenn. They had trails that were marked for driving, they were a little rough in my opinion, but they where there! (K. Case)
LBJ National Grasslands just north of Decatur, Texas, USA--over 12000 acres dirt roads and trails that are very suitable to carriage driving.
Bath County/Augusta Co. -- hilly, quiet roads may be found here.WASHINGTON
John Wayne Pioneer Trail, please see both WA and ID for links to this long trail.WEST VIRGINIA
new Hatfield and McCoy trail system, to include Kentucky and Virginia in the future. PO Box 65, Charleston, WV 25321, phone 1-800-592-2217
WV Rails-to-Trails Council lists locations permitting horses, includes a rating of trails by difficulty and other qualities.
WY has more dirt roads than paved ones.MID-ATLANTIC STATES
Trail Blazer Maps Excellent resource for trails throughout the region.AUSTRALIA
firstname.lastname@example.org is Rob Johnson of White Lodge Carriage Drives in West Australia.
Thank You: Amy Marshall, Caroline Patterson, Winnie Lante, Louisa E., Erica Raab, TRoss (AOL), Mike & Sherry (Trail Blazer), Rob J.